Are composite windows the best type of burglar-proof windows for home security?
When you’re choosing new windows for your home, whether they’re for a self-build, renovation or replacement windows, security will be high on your list of priorities.
According to Secured by Design, since 1989 there has been an overall reduction in property crime of 60%, however, in the Office of National Statistics survey year ending March 2017, around 2 in 100 households had been victims of domestic burglary, so there is still a relative threat to be taken seriously.
So what are the considerations when sourcing security windows for your property? Are uPVC windows easier to break into than timber frames? Are composite windows stronger than aluminium windows?
Here we explore the key considerations when purchasing security windows…
1. Security window manufacture
How your windows are manufactured can have a huge impact on the security benefits. uPVC windows are solid, impenetrable and virtually impossible to break into. Aluminium windows may look thin and light, however they are strong. Be aware of cheap aluminium windows as the quality and therefore the security benefits, may be lacking.
With timber windows, even the most solid of frames, will eventually show signs of degradation and rot, therefore regular maintenance is required to keep them not only looking good, but maintain their strength. A neglected wooden window will always become a vulnerable break-in point in your home.
Westcoast Windows composite windows and doors are extremely difficult to break into (as evidenced by our PAS 24:2016 certification – see below). The high quality bonded construction of aluminium exterior to the wood interior offers maximum lifespan and minimum maintenance. Furthermore, our windows are constructed with the following key elements to enhance their security:
- Strengthened espagnolette locks and receivers
- Glazing beads glued to full perimeter of glass unit
- Sealed glass units glued into the frame
2. Security window glass
Double glazing and triple glazing with a laminated external pane is virtually burglar–proof as it’s incredibly hard to break, effectively putting two/three barriers between you and potential thieves.
3. Security windows handles and locks
Westcoast Windows offer a comprehensive range of hinges, handles and restrictors to suit all security, safety and access requirements. Our range of enhanced ironmongery, including locking espagnolette handles and cylinder locks, have been tested according to our PAS 24:2016 and SBD certification.
4. Security window certification – PAS 24:2016
Security windows should be tested and certified to BSI PAS 24:2016 standards. PAS 24:2016 is a specification that provides test methods and acceptable criteria relevant to the enhanced security performance of doorsets and windows, intended to resist methods of attack experienced or associated with the casual or opportunistic burglar.
Windows and doorsets are tested by replicating the forces that would be applied by a potential intruder. All hardware and potential access points on the window are tested including:
- Manipulation of hardware
- Assessment of glazing security
- Mechanical loading test
- Manual check test
This scenario is set out in Approved Document Q – Security – Dwellings, the statutory guidance document that supports The Building Regulations 2010 and identifies the use of PAS 24 as the standard for doorset and window security. Doors and windows will meet requirement Q1 if they can resist physical attack by being both: 1. Sufficiently robust and 2. Fitted with appropriate hardware. In addition, frames should be mechanically fixed to the structure in accordance with the manufacturer’s written instructions.
All principle Westcoast Windows composite windows and doors have been successfully tested to PAS 24: 2016 and are available in a pine, oak or other wood species internally.
Further reading on our Building Regulations Notes Datasheet: Approved Document Q – Security
5. Security window certification – Secured by Design
The SBD (Secured by Design) initiative is a quality standard for burglar-proof windows and doors (amongst other products) developed by the PCPI (Police Crime Prevention Initiatives) to create secure windows and doors that reduce the risk of intrusion by 75%. More than one million homes have been built to SBD standards over the last 30 years, with crime reductions of up to 87% on new developments (2017) and 61% in major refurbishment projects (2009).
Westcoast Windows are a SBD license holder, which demonstrates not just successful testing to PAS 24:2016 but also regular independent UKAS accredited 3rd Party auditing to ensure consistency of product quality and performance.
Find out more at: https://www.securedbydesign.com